Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the last of may

Week 22 saw continued progress on the nursery front. When I left off at the end of week 21, it was Memorial Day weekend, and Steve and I were trying to get as much done as possible. We had gotten one bookshelf moved on Saturday, but we took a day off from that for a fact finding mission downtown on Sunday.

First on the list was a trip to The Container Store. We wanted to look at their closet hardware, as well as the options for plastic storage containers to go in the closets. Their website isn't terribly helpful, so it was good to see everything in person, even if we didn't buy any of it at the time. The next stop was CB2 to look at the side table we had in mind for the living room, and then Crate & Barrel to look at a floor lamp, also for the living room. Again, we decided to hold off on buying either of those; I wasn't so sure about the floor lamp, and we didn't want to have to carry the side table home at the time. Last, we stopped at Sur la Table and Bristol Farms in the basement of the mall, looking for a stock pot (unsuccessful) and meat for dinner (successful).

On our way through the mall, I paused for some pictures in the window of Janie and Jack. Since I had been too focused on our to-do list on our previous stops, I needed to make a point of taking a picture or two while I could. I didn't know at the time that we were having a boy, but I did have a hunch. Between that and having already used displays of girl clothes for previous pictures of the day, I figured I should go with the shot of the boy clothes this time.

148/366 for the baby tourist to cuba

It was back to shelf moving on Monday. We had 4 IKEA bookshelves in our office prior to this: one corner shelf, two full-width shelves, and one half-width shelf. The corner shelf will be leaving us, and one of the bigger shelves got moved to the living room on Saturday. That left two shelves to move. We put the other big shelf in our bedroom to hold photo albums, the rest of the cookbooks, and various other books we're keeping. It's not my favorite spot for it, especially since we had to move the full-length mirror to a new, less convenient spot in the bedroom. But our space is limited, so we didn't have too many other options.

The half-width bookshelf, however, just got moved to a different spot in the future nursery. While it really doesn't go with the white and birch look that I have in mind for the nursery furniture, it does fit perfectly in the corner behind the door. And in that location with the door open, it's pretty well hidden. That gives us a bit more shelf space for things like our Harry Potter books, my old picture books, and some other things that might not quite go with the nursery's eventual woodland theme. For example, here is one shelf with a dragon Beanie Baby (Steve's), a couple wooden puzzles (also Steve's) and a vintage Steve The Steam Shovel book that we got from Carmen in a Christmas stocking one year. I also put some the children's books, which we already had, on that shelf.

149/366 memorial day progress

I spent some time going through boxes in the office/nursery closet on Tuesday afternoon, but I decided to take a break for a walk and hopefully some pictures in Noe Valley. Also, I felt like getting a bagel for a snack. So I found an interesting old lamp in the window of Ambiance for my picture, and then I got a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese at Noe Bagel.

150/366 blue belle

More box sorting occurred on Wednesday, and this time I found the box that contained some of my childhood stuff. There were the picture books that went on the bookshelf in the nursery, as well as my two old Sesame Street blankies. I was always more of a blankie kid than a stuffed animal one when it came to security items and things to sleep with. Those two Sesame Street blankets were my favorites, and the one with the hot air balloon (vs. the one with the picnic scene) was always the most preferred. Both are pretty sad shape now, though. There are holes, the trim is detached and fraying from being chewed, and there are even faint stains from bloody noses. I'm sure my mom tried her best to bleach those stains out, but there was probably only so much that could be done. Anyway, I took the blankets out for a few pictures before refolding them and putting them back in their plastic bag for storage again.

151/366 the well loved blankie

At last, on Thursday I had a more exciting subject for a picture than whatever I had found in boxes... That was the day of the Craftsman and Wolves trunk show at Pot + Pantry. See, last year I had been to the Tell Tale Preserve Co. trunk show at Big Daddy Antiques in Potrero Hill. There had been talk of them opening an actual store downtown, but then Tell Tale had partnership/investor problems and went under. It was very sad, but now the pastry chef from Tell Tale has opened a patisserie called Craftsman and Wolves in my neighborhood!

Before the shop opened, they had a preview trunk show for a day at the adorable kitchenware store Pot + Pantry. I heard about it on Twitter and Facebook and decided that I must go. So I walked down there before lunch that Thursday and bought a few goodies: a little chocolate zucchini travel cake, The Devil Inside, and some sipping caramel that came with croissant chips. The obvious choice for my picture of the day was The Devil Inside: chocolate-almond cake with a soft center of chocolate-toffee ganache studded with foie gras. It's one of their signature creations, although it will only be available in that form until June 30, since the CA foie gras ban goes into effect on July 1. I did a mini photo shoot with it that afternoon, and then Steve and I shared half that night. (The other half was shared the next night.) It was rich, chocolatey, and very interesting. I'm generally a fan of chocolate with caramel or toffee, and the foie gras added a nice savory dimension.

The Craftsman and Wolves storefront is now open, but I haven't actually gotten over there yet. There will certainly be pictures sooner or later, though.

152/366 the devil inside

Friday marked the first day of June, so I tried to think of some new way to shoot another page of the Simply Breakfast calendar. We happened to have some donut peaches, which related well to the crumble picture on the calendar, so I used those and the background of our new desk. It was nice to have a different wood surface for pictures, but I suspect it will be used less for that in the future, now that Steve has moved his computer stuff over to it.

153/366 june is for crumbles

On Saturday, I found myself at a bit of a loss for picture ideas. I took my weekly white-tank-top-and-black-pants belly shot, but I had already used one of those as my picture of the day a couple weeks before. Looking around the house for ideas, I found myself in the bedroom, where the mirror was waiting to be hung on the wall. I hadn't yet tried any pictures of myself and my new figure in a mirror, so I shot a few after I had thoroughly cleaned said mirror. I don't think it actually got hung until the next day, but it worked fine for my impromptu 19-week picture. Incidentally, this is one of the few non-maternity t-shirts I have that still sort of fits—for now...

154/366 a bit of a bump

That's it another week, as well as the month of May. You know what that means: mosaic time, of course!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

a return to productivity

It seems the more productive I am lately, the less exciting my pictures are. Thankfully, week 21 featured a mix of productivity and decent pictures...

First, a Sunday crumble. Cherries were just starting to appear at the markets in late May, so we finally got around to making the cherry almond crumble that I had bookmarked last year. And to go with it, we decided on an almond ice cream from the Bi-Rite Creamery book. Technically, the recipe is for cherry almond ice cream, but I figured there would be plenty of cherries in the crumble already. In the end, the ice cream was thick and intensely almondy. It clearly needed the cherries in it if it was going to stand alone. It went fine with the crumble, though, adding that creamy-sweet element to break up the tart fruit flavor. My favorite ice cream and crumble combination is still peaches, nectarines, and plums (and maybe a few blackberries) with nectarine bourbon ice cream, but this was a good one to start off stone fruit season.

141/366 cherry almond crumble

I was much less creative on Monday. All I could think of to shoot was the last of the two peaches we had gotten at Bi-Rite on Saturday. I ate one that day for breakfast and the other the next day. Not very exciting as a photo, but I was pretty excited to eat peaches again. (I'll be more excited when there are nectarines...)

142/366 what a peach

Tuesday was one of those days when I walked over the hill to Noe Valley to run some errands. This time, it was a cart full of pillows outside an antique store that caught my eye.

143/366 the pillow cart

Next, Wednesday morning was devoted to the delivery of our brand new desk! This is the one we picked out and purchased from Room & Board about 10 days before, on Mother's Day. Now, it sits in the dining room, waiting for Steve's computer to make the move from the office. (The flowers were from the closing performances I played for 13 on Sunday.) While it wasn't cheap, the desk fulfills Steve's requirement of having a keyboard tray at the right height—the front of the drawer flips down—and my requirement of not being ugly. It's not quite the same shade of wood as our kitchen cabinets, but it's close; and the stainless steel matches our kitchen appliances. The only downside is that there's not a lot of storage, aside from the keyboard drawer. We'll have to keep more things in our closets, which at least means that they'll be out of sight and out of reach of little hands. And I was especially glad to find out the following Saturday that the placement didn't interfere too much with my weekly pictures against the wall to the left.

144/366 new desk

On Thursday, I met Steve, Dan, Rob, Traci, and Carmen (with Elsa) at the Ferry Building for lunch. Rob and Traci had been talking up the porchetta sandwiches from the Roli Roti truck for quite a while, so it was clearly time that we all tried them. As promised, the sandwich was quite good. The mix of herby pork, caramelized onions, and arugula was great with the fresh bread. But it was such a big sandwich that I ended up eating only half for lunch, taking the rest home with me. It made a good—but again, filling—afternoon snack.

145/366 roli roti

Since we were at the Ferry Building that Thursday, I stopped inside for a cupcake from Miette to take home too. If I hadn't had half of my sandwich left, it probably would have been my snack that day; however, I saved it for Friday afternoon. That also meant that I had it to use as Friday's photo subject. I usually go for the gingerbread cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, but the time of year called for a yellow cupcake with strawberry buttercream. I'm not a big fan of their plain buttercream frosting, but I really like their strawberry stuff. It's intensely strawberry-y. Of course, now that that craving is fulfilled for the year, I can go back to getting my favorite gingerbread cupcake next time.

146/366 cupcake time

Back to the land of productivity on Saturday... Dan, Carmen, and Elsa were out of town for Memorial Day weekend, so it was a good time for getting some heavy lifting done without worrying about waking a napping child downstairs. The goal for the weekend was to move the IKEA bookshelves from the office/nursery to their new locations around the house. We actually only got one done on Saturday, though: one of the bigger shelves, which we transferred to the living room. It replaced some more utilitarian-looking IKEA shelves that were there before, holding DVDs. That shelf got moved to the utility room to get loaded with construction-type stuff later, and I reloaded the living room shelf with DVDs, our Blurb books, and some of the prettier cookbooks.

I still haven't decided whether the ice cube lamp is staying on that second shelf... I don't particularly like the cord hanging down, and it's most likely too much trouble to try to punch a hole in the back of the shelf to thread it through. It might have to find a new home somewhere else.

147/366 the saturday project

Stay tuned for even more productivity in week 22! (baby steps...)

Monday, June 4, 2012

the excitement builds

Week 20 was a busy one, requiring me to get my pictures of the day in early, before evening rehearsals and performances. You see, I had agreed to play piano in the pit of a middle school production of 13, and it was tech week. Luckily, I had done the show with the same conductor a couple summers ago, so I just had to brush up and get comfortable with the score again. (It's a challenging one, but it's one of the more enjoyable shows I've played.) That week, I had rehearsals Monday through Thursday and performances on Friday and Saturday nights, plus one additional show on Friday morning.

Sunday, however, was free. It was also Mother's Day. We didn't really do anything special and Mother's Day related, but we made a trip to Room & Board to look at and order a new computer desk. (Progress!) The picture of the day was our lunch, though. Steve made a pizza with potatoes and rosemary. Apparently, it's a combination that sounds strange to people here, but it's pretty common in Italy.

134/366 potato & rosemary pizza

Monday's "get it out of the way" picture was of the stacks of CDs and books in the office. I doubt that I actually did much with them that day; it was just the easiest thing I could think of to photograph. Since then, we've gotten rid of all those CDs, but the book piles have only gotten bigger. At least that means we'll have less stuff overall once they're all gone.

135/366 everything must go

Then I had my 16-week appointment with my OB on Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, I always seem to go during street cleaning days, which makes parking near CPMC a bit more challenging. Knowing this from my last two visits, I left early and gave myself plenty of time to drive around the surrounding Presidio Heights neighborhood, looking for a free spot. I found one a ways from the hospital, but it was in a nice neighborhood with pretty houses, so I didn't mind the walk.

136/366 in the heights

On Wednesday afternoon, I went to Arizmendi Bakery for a snack and took a few pictures of the pastry cases. I ended up getting a "chocolate thing," which was essentially a huge brioche roll with pieces of dark chocolate inside. It was pretty good, but I've definitely had better pain au chocolat type pastries before. Still, it's good to know I can get something like that nearby if I have a bread/chocolate craving.

137/366 a trip to the bakery

Thursday's picture was taken at home again: the books I had moved to the bedroom mantel a few days before. I knew I wanted to put a few prettier books there, and since they're food-related but not necessarily cookbooks, these seemed like a good choice. (Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life is my favorite.) Some have recipes, but they're mostly biographical prose. About half are mine and half are Steve's, so we each have some more reading to do of each other's books.

138/366 taking up the mantel

Looking out the window on Friday, I saw Aroara the neighborhood cat hanging around across the street. That prompted a walk around the block and some cat pictures. Not terribly exciting, but Aroara did apparently get a new red collar with rhinestones to replace her pink one with rhinestones. (Riveting stuff here...)

139/366 cat in the shade

Still feeling less inspired on the picture front the next day, I used my weekly self portrait as my photo for Saturday. I didn't feel too bad about it, though; I hadn't done that yet, and this was the week that I started to feel the baby moving. I actually thought I felt something on Sunday—Mother's Day—but I wasn't entirely sure. So when my doctor asked me on Tuesday if I was feeling anything yet, my answer was "maybe...?" She said I'd probably be sure within a week or two, but I didn't end up having to wait more than a few hours. That afternoon, I was sitting on the couch and felt a couple definitive nudges. The so-called "fluttering" feeling that many describe was apparently too subtle for me, but there was no mistaking these. It was more like Bonnie's description: twitches.

The interesting thing about it was that it happened the week I was playing music in a loud pit with drums behind me every night. Perhaps the drums on Monday woke him or her up. :) More likely, it was just that time anyway. The usual for a first baby is 16-20 weeks, and this was at 16 1/2. Plus, I'm on the thin side, so that helps. Anyway, it was an exciting week for the pregnancy.

140/366 17 weeks

Well, that puts me about two weeks behind in blogging. And speaking of exciting weeks in pregnancy, Steve and I will find out the sex of the baby at our ultrasound in about an hour! You can check Flickr sometime tomorrow—probably late afternoon—for the news. I have to take an appropriate picture of the day first. :)